Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christ is THE Reason for the Season










Knowing what is In Your Heart: (Duck Duck Jump)

What You Will Need:


1) You will need something soft to swing at the children's head, like a foam pool noodle.
2) You will need 1 child for each time you want to do the drill.  Takes about 60 seconds per child.


How to Play: Have the child playing the game look at you, and slowly swing the noodle either at his head or his feet.  He either ducks, or jumps.  Make sure you play the game is played in near silence until the child has your pattern down.  Do NOT try to make it too challenging.  Once he/she has it down. Start having the other children yell Jump or Duck when every they want, trying to get the child to mess up. 


Your goal is to make it obvious if the child follows what he knows is right, it works out, but if he listens to the noise around him (the world) she gets confused. 


How to teach the Lesson: Ask them what they think Christmas is really about.  Let them answer for a while.  You will hear at first stuff like family, Santa, Jesus' birthday, God, gifts, travel, vacation and the like.  Let it all hang out.  LEAD THE CONVERSATION TOWARD JESUS' BIRTHDAY.


The ask them if they know people that get bent out of shape when they hear "X-mas" or "Happy Holiday."  Ask them why people get upset.  Let them tell you.  Then read the quote on the card above.  "As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is."  Let them know this means it does not matter what other people think Christmas is, like in the game it does not matter what the other kids want you to do.  It matters what you know is right.  That Jesus is the reason for the season.


PRAISE AND WORSHIP


Make a Cross of Cups on the Floor 
Drill - This is Why: (Teaching: Knowing the Reason a thing is Done a Certain Way Makes Sense) 


Materials Needed:  A blind fold. A dozen or so cups. A child.


How to Play the Game:  Select the child, and give him these very specific Rules:


1) You must put the blind Fold ON, so that you can not see.
2) You must take the cups and build a cross on the floor, like in the picture.
3) You will be asked to spin around and around.
4) You must then destroy the Cross without destroying the cups, when I tell you to.


Purpose:  You are hoping that they will put the blind fold on FIRST.  If they do not, encourage them to without actually telling them to.  Once you have had several children do what you want, ask the other children if the Cross looked like a cross, or was it flawed?  It will be flawed if they had blindfolds on.


You then tell them you need on volunteer to do it again, but you will help that one do it the way you really wanted.  Tell them to build the cross.  Then put the blind fold on. Take the blind fold off.  Spin them around and around.  Have them take the Cross apart.


This will teach them that the meaning and order that things are done makes doing them far easier. Don't teach this section if the people you are talking to, including yourself are offended by it.  Just teach what Holiday means instead.


Read the verse: Matthew 1:21 (ESV) - "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."


Set the stage for them by telling them that Mary was talking to the Angle of the Lord, who just told her she was going to be pregnant, even though she was not married.  She knew that they could stone her, kill her, for that.  Then ask them why the angle of the Lord might have told Mary this.  Let them say every thing they have. Lead them if you have to, to get them to give you reasons.  


You wrap it up by telling them that Mary needed to know what was going to happen, and why, so that it would be understandable to her.  That is also why it is in the Bible for us to read and know.  This is one of the great miracles that surrounds Jesus' birth, the reason for the season.


Extra material: If you have time, and you deem that your children are ready for this much truth.


Ask them what some followers of Christ think about people saying, "Happy Holidays."  Let them talk it out.  Then ask them if they know what Holiday means.  Let them talk it out.  Then tell them the truth.  It means holy day. Then ask if they can imagine Jesus getting all bent out of shape about someone wishing him a happy holy day.  Then remind him that Jesus only went out of his way to point out the evil in men's faith if they were educated and should have been knowledgeable. We do NOT wish to be a stumbling block for others, so we have to pick when we say whatever we say.


Purpose of this in NOT to be PC, but rather not to intimidate others through our own ignorance.  I wish many many many people merry Christmas.  I just pick those I say it too.  If I know they are Jewish or Islam or anti Christ, I might say Holiday, since it MEANS holy day, and Christmas is certainly that.  I wish to witness to the lost more than I wish to build my own faith.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

From Turkey to Baby in 2 Easy Steps - Thanksgiving to Advent Easy Sunday School Lesson Plan

This lesson plan does not teach a strong foundation for Thanksgiving, but rather relies on a secular understanding of thanksgiving, and transfers that feeling of gratatude and happiness from things of the world to the the advent of the Messiah, the reason for the season of Christmas, so to speak.



Materials Needed: Notepad and pen, or note cards. 

Drills / Games:  Gratitude Charades & Hide and Seek.

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Part 1: Thanksgiving

Have all the children gather around you or an assistant, and ask them how thanksgiving was.  Then ask them what they have to be thankful for.  For example, you will hear the standards answers they have been taught or heard, like: Jesus, mother, father, God etc.  Record each one, and work them toward deeper answers from thier lives, even if you have to tell stories to get them to notice things like: freedom to worship, life, clean water, transportation and the like.  Once you have a list of items, divide the class into 3 or 4 teams, and play Charades.  Once team is given something from the gratatude list, and they have to act it out.  Time how long it takes them to get the other teams to guess the answer without talking, writing it down, or pointing to it.  We are looking for acting it out.  The team that gets the other teams to guess the right thing the fastest wins.  Limit the time they get to 2 minutes, or you could be about this one game forever.

When you have a winner, make a big deal about it, have the others cheer, clap, dance etc.

Sit them all down, and read them Luke 12:48: "But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more."

After reading the verse, ask them what they think it means.  When they are all done, read them the Teddy Roosevelt Quote in the picture here.  Explain that thanksgiving is more than just saying thank you, praying thank you, and knowing what you are thankful for.  For sure, if you do that, you have done more than most people will do, but if you are a follower of Christ, the very fact that we have been given much demands much from us.  Thanksgiving is more of an action than it is a feeling. Like the game we just played, thanks is an action.

Ask them, "What have you done to act our YOUR thanks."

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Praise / Worship / Offering

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Part 2 - The Advent of the Christ.


Have all the kids gather around again, and ask them if they know how to play hide an seek.  When they are done telling you how awesome it is, how great they are, begging to be first etc, tell they you are going to play a different type of hide and seek.  These are the rules.

1) Instead of hiding people we are going to hide a piece of paper - hold up a piece of not paper, and write on it, "This is the Prize you are Looking For."  Fold it in half.  Tell them you are looking for this piece of paper rather than any paper, because we don't want any fake paper being created by the players to pretend they have won. 

2) Four people are assigned to "Seek" the paper, and one to hide it.  Have the 4 seekers go somewhere where they can not see what is going on, and have the person assinged to hiding "it" hide the paper.

3) The paper has to have some of it clearly visable to someone who is looking at it.  In other words, it can not be buried undersomething 100%.  Exclude unsafe places.

4) Call the seekers back in, and have them look.  Every 60 to 120 seconds call all he seekers back in, and ask them what type of clue they want.  THE CLUES ARE THE POINT - WE USE CLUES THAT ONLY YOU AND THE ONE WHO HIDE THE PAPER CAN UNDERSTAND.  We give them the choice of: Musical, Humorus, Nature or Food, as well as Place (Place is : Rug, tile, wood, wall, high, low etc.)

When you give them the clue, it should shed no light on the hiding location where the paper is hidden.  For example, if the paper is hiden under a basket, and they pick humor, then you might say; "If you look high, you will see the sky, if you look low, you will see the floor, but if you look at me, you will be carried away." (As in - carried in a basket.)

Play it for as long as you can, making sure those who are watching begin to understand that the clues are useless if they do not know what you are talking about.

Photo Credit:
https://www.facebook.com/doesgodserveyou
When you are done playing the game, pull them all back in and ask them if the clues helped them.  Keep the discussion going until you have shown them that the "clues" were useless if they did not have the special knowledge that allowed them to understand the clue.

Then tell them that Jesus is just like that.  If you don't listen to the Holy Spirit, then hearing the word may or may not lead you to the speical knowledge that Jesus can set you free.

One of the first places where the people of the world heard the good news was in the 8th Century BC.  A prophet, Isaiah, wrote this verse - Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."  Wow ... we were given a clue 800 years before Jesus was born, and most of the world today still does not know that they can be free.

It is our job, since we know about Jesus, to show thanksgiving.  We can do that by our actions, one of which is to let other people, who are seeking him, find him.  We have become the clues.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mark 1:35-39 - Relationship in Praying

Happy Kids!

Lesson’s Verse: Mark 1:35-39 (ESV): “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, "Everyone is looking for you." And he said to them, "Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out." And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Basic Meaning: We are trying to get them to see the benefits and need for spending time with God, and in this case, before they start their day, activity, plan or whatever they are doing.


The Plan:

Teaching Drill: Pass it OnTalking to Each other to Build Relationship
Practice Drill: Depending on how many students you have, you either want to break the class up into groups (teams) of 4(ish) or use the whole class. The Drill as written assumes 2 teams, B(oys) vs. G(irls)
Have the teams line up single file, and as in square dancing, pass the first person from the front of the line all the way to the back of the line, by locking arm (elbows) and swinging them down the line. Keep it going from the front until the first person is back in the front.  This is practice.
Once they have it, have them race each other a few times to heighten their interest and energy.  If you only have one team, time them.
Pass on Knowledge:  Once they have the Do-si-do part down, tell them they way they really win the drill is to pass on information about themselves.  The person being passed down cannot be passed off to the next student until he has told the student holding him at the moment, something about himself.  He can NEVER repeat.  For Example: A says to B – “I have 2 brothers”. A says to C - “My mom hates cats”, A says to D – “My brother is younger than Me.” A says to E – “My feet smell funny.”
Let them practice a few times, then rerun the drill as above in Practice Drill, then have the race.

Meaning of the Drill: Pass it On – Ask them what they learned playing the game.  Lead them toward the information they passed to each other.  Tell them that by passing on private information about yourself to each other is the very foundation of relationship. Have them laugh about some of the funny things they learned.

Teaching the Bible Verse: Read the verse above to the children, and ask them to tell you what they hear.  Do not judge what they say, but let them practice figuring out what the Bible is actually telling them.

Once you have encouraged them for a while, lead them to “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”  Point out that it was so Desolate that his disciples had to go and find him. 

This is time to relate Jesus talking to God in a RELATIONSHIP, just as they did in them game.  “Praying is talking to God. Sometimes you praise him, sometimes your worship him, sometimes you ask for help, sometimes you complain, sometimes you just talk to him.  That is what we learned about how to pray from the game and from Jesus talking to God the father.”
Credit: Free images from acobox.com

Making it Personal: At this point in the lesson plan, you tell them a story from YOUR life where you shared personal information with someone, other than God, about your life. Relate it to the game and how you talk to God, so they have something personal to relate this to, about someone they can trust … YOU.

Praying: Now it is time to teach them how to use this relationship information in prayer.  If you have help, break into small groups, and have them pray out loud together, after discussing the types of things that praying is about.  Remember, progress in faith is the goal, not destination.  Destination is insured by grace by the Lord Jesus, not by us.

Endings: If you have time at the end of the class, play the game again, so they have the teaching tool implanted in their mind when they leave.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Indomitable Spirit - 2 Timothy 4:7 - Easy Sunday School #7

Purpose: to teach our students that praying with never ending faith, never troubled faith, absolute faith that God will save you.

Testing their faith in Us?” – Have a few students come up to you, who you can trust to "fall" so you can catch them.  If you pick students at this stage that you "want to trust," rather than you can trust, you will demonstrate failure, and may not recover.  Nothing succeeds in a persons mind better than success.  So show them success.

     You will ask them to cross their arms across their chest, close their eyes, and fall into your arms.  You will catch them with your hands at their shoulder and waist, using your hands and forearms.  Tell them to keep their body stiff.  Have them fall two or three times, each time telling them to trust you to catch them, and letting them fall further.

"Teaching the Lesson": After you have done all or some of your students, depending on the amount of time you have, ask them to point out every thing they did that showed ANYTHING less than absolute faith. Like looking over their shoulder, opening their eyes, bending their knees. 

     Tell them that is how most people pray like that they believe God will catch them, but they also believe that they must “do it themselves."

Teaching the Biblical Lesson: 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

"It IS HARD to do what God wants, in fact here Paul tells us it is like a fight our whole lives, but he kept on running, showing his faith. That is what we want to do when we pray. Talk to God with faith that the promises he has made in the bible ARE true, will be fulfilled, and YOU KNOW IT. Fight the Good Fight, Run the Race with faith! Just like you fell in out drill at the beginning of the class."

Prayer: Pray out loud with the children, praying that you and they will have the faith it takes to allow God to catch them.

Common Gong Game: Ask the Students to tell you things that would show that their friends had faith in them. You are not looking for behaviors, but rather ways to “know in advance” if someone has faith in them.  – this is pre-framing for the game. 

The Game: Put a Gong or Bell or even a Metal Trash Can they can hit, in the middle of the room, and 4 teams around the gong. Tell them you are going to read a list of stuff that may or may not apply to them. Like “All people who own cats” --- and if it applies to them, they run in, grab the gong striker, and strike the gong. Who ever hits it first, wins. Winner’s team gets 10 points. If you find out that they are lying, say, they don’t have a cat, their team loses 100 points. 

Ask about 10 questions: Make up your own or use these.

i. All Boys 
ii. All Girls 
iii. All blue shirts 
iv. All 4th graders 
v. All who own cats 
vi. All who have been punished by their parents 
vii. All who go to KOTK 
viii. All who do home school 
ix. All who do not do home school 
x. All who play sports 
xi. All who take showers 

Teach the Counter Message: Explain to them that the world makes friends and trusts people based on these types of things. In fact, you can sign on to the internet, and fill out a form asking questions like this, and be matched with your “perfect” husband or wife. That is how strong the idea that commonality makes good friends. 

Read them the vers
e here. “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.” Proverbs 29:25 AMP

Ask them how they would show their faith and trust in the Lord and discuss with them ways they can do this in their everyday life.

Ball Quiz: When the music is playing have them pass a beach ball in the air. When the music stops, whomever has it, answers the question. If they get it right, they get a reward. – Candy.

What questions should you ask?  Who can find the two verses in the bible in 10 seconds, who can recite any verse, who can give you a way to "trust the Lord."  Use your judgement.




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Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Have Finished the Race - Easy Sunday School # 6

Goal: Teach the meaning and Purpose of 2 Timothy 4:7 - (AMP):  "I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith."
(Before reading this lesson plan, if you have not read the first Easy Sunday School lesson plan, you might want to now, or these ideas might easily sound crazy to you.)

Start Class with Faith Drill #1 - Faithball

Materials: A Soft Rubber Ball (we bought ours at Wal-Mart) and a Trash Basket Smaller that the ball. Notice it sits on the top of the basket, but DOES NOT GO IN!!

Purpose of the Drill: Teach the students what well founded faith in an outside power feels like.

How to Play the Game: set the basket on one side of the room, and have a tape line attached to the floor on the other side of the room.  Tell the student's that if they get the ball in the basket, they win a prize.  In our case, we are giving Blueberry/Chocolate Muffins small size (which we purchased at B.J.'s).  Tell them they get three attempts, they can not step off the line, and they can not help each other.  Then take the ball and throw it at the basket, to have them understand, without you saying it, that you want them to THROW the ball.  (It is important you don't say Throw the Ball.)  Then have them do it.  Most times, they will all throw the ball, and fail. 

Fail: (Which happens most times.) Sit them down and ask them how they can win?  Let them give you ideas.  You are hoping they tell you they need to ask for help.  If they do not bring that up, suggest that asking for help, might be a good idea, but be subtle about it.  Then replay the game.

Someone asks You for Help:  Take the ball from them, walk over to the basket, place the ball on the basket, and make a big deal about whomever figured it out.

Faithball

How to Teach the Lesson: Sit them down, and explain faith in God is much like this game.  Show them that the ball CAN NOT FIT in the basket, and they had NO chance without asking for help.  Much of our lives we are asked to do things that scare us, because we realize we are not big enough, smart enough or fast enough to make the impossible happen.  We ask God for help, and he can make the impossible happen.

You will also want to explain, that this only works if we are working toward God's goals, rather than our own, our you might give them the right feeling about the power of faith, while at the same time making them think God is a genie.


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Read the Verse of the day that was at the start of the lesson plan. DO NOT EXPLAIN IT, just read it.

Ask them to explain it to you.  Try not to explain it even now, just listen to what they say, and encourage them give as many ideas as they can.  Then go to Faith Drill #2.

Faith Drill #2 - 3 Legged Race

Materials: Something to tie their legs together.  We use strips of cloth that can also be used as blindfolds in other drills.

Purpose of the Drill: Teach the students that if they do their best to Run the Race, as they understand it, with faith, then the reward is theirs.

How to Play the Game: Have 2 or more teams, depending on how much time you have left for the game, race each other around the room.  Tell them that their purpose is to Run the Race as fast as they can, and if they do what YOU want, they will receive a reward.  (Whatever reward you want ... again, I am using the muffins that we used in Drill #1)  

Then have them take off.  If they give you maximum effort, even if they lose, even if they fall down, reward them, because YOUR PURPOSE FOR THEM WAS TO RUN THE RACE THE BEST THEY COULD, not win.

How to Teach the Lesson: Sit them down, and ask them if they know what the winners did in order to win the rewards.  Let them talk it out, but lead them to saying they did their best and trusted you (faith) to reward them if they did their best.)

Tell them God is Like that. Read to them: Romans 8:28 (NKJV): "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

Teach them  that just like in the game, Faith is based on them doing what God wants them to do.  There are several ways to know what God wants them to do.  Ask them how, but you want to lead them to a few specific answers:  1) Prayer   2) Holy Spirit that is in them  3) Bible  4) Parent's  5) Pastor  ... and whatever they do, if they are doing it because of God, Roman's 8:28 says it will work out for God, because of their faith.  Also, because of their faith, they will receive a reward too.  The will get to hear Jesus say:  "Well done, good and faithful servant;" - Matthew 25:21 (NKJV)

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If you have not read our Witness Statement yet, please do.

Peace - Anne and Paul

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

A FOUNDATION YOU CAN TRUST - Easy Sunday School #5 - Luke 6:47-49

Goal: To teach them that their foundation is their absolute knowledge that God’s word can be trusted. Luke 6:47-49 (NKJV)

Beginning Drill - House of Cups:

Materials: You need stacks of paper cups for each team, a table or 1 table for each team, and 2 teams of students.

Building the House: Give the students 2 minutes to build a house out of the cups – they can NOT stack them as in one inside of another. They have to stack them as in the picture here. Do not tell them how many in the foundation layer, or you will not be teaching, but rather lecturing.  Let them discover what works best.  Give them 3 or so minutes, and say go!

The Message:

1) Ask which house is the tallest?

2) Ask Why? The House that is the tallest will have the best foundation

3) Ask how they felt when cups kept falling down? And what they could have done to make it less frustrating (bigger and more stable Foundation)

The Prayer: Lead them in prayer, including that they will, today, start building their lives upon the foundation of Jesus.

Read to them 

Luke 6:47-49 (NKJV) - "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”


Ask them if they know what Jesus was talking about?


Ask them what "how" you build on Jesus as your foundation? "hears My sayings and does them."


Part 2  Goal: Teach them that Small actions make a BIG difference. There every behavior can help someone understand God’s love, or keep them from God’s love forever.


Drill 2: House of Cards

Material Needed:
4 Decks or more of cards
2 teams, 3 or 4 members minimum, the more members the better


Goal: To See how many floors they can build in a house of cards and thereby teaching them that little changes in the foundation can help or destroy the whole thing – particularly bad actions destroying the whole thing.





Have the teams build their house of cards on their dish towel – give them 5 minutes or less. Encourage other members to give advice and/or help.


Exploring the meaning

Reviewing what happened in the game:

Ask (or lead / tell) if anyone noticed that small bad actions made a difference to how well the house was built?

Ask what those actions were. (bumped the table, moved the dish towel, worked to fast, argued with each other.)

Ask if good actions were also noticed – like team work, steady hand, helping each other

Ask what those good behaviors did to the building

Ask if they had to keep going, even if they failed


Tell them that today’s verse is a clear reminder that our every action can change someone else’s ability to know and love God. Their behavior at home, school and everywhere DOES make a difference.
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If you have the time, explore with them what behaviors they should have at home, school and everywhere else that make a difference for God's People.  


There may be a feeling of smallness, not understanding that they house they are part of is God's house, and that he is there. God's Power enables our actions if they are because we have been called according to his purpose.


They may be thinking they need to do the work "for" God, because he needs them.  We do the work for God because he has asked us to, and we love him.  He does NOT need us, we need him.
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If you have not read the foundation message for Easy Sunday School, you might want to.


If you have not read our testimony, you will not understand our foundation, so you might want to.
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Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm Blind yet I See - Hebrews 11:1-2, Easy Sunday School #4

Hebrews 11:1-2: (NKJV) "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony."

Background:  These two verses teach a ton of important things you will need to fill in the background, when trying to teach that Faith=Belief in things Not Seen.  Do not make the mistake that since you believe in bacteria, they do.  They, and most people who have never seen bacteria, believe in the school or teacher that taught them about it, not in it directly.  Especially in children, if they can not touch it, it does not really exist.  Children are primarily tactile learners, and Logic (words) and see (visual) will probably not float their boat.

This verse also teaches us that the forefathers of Christianity and Judaism gave a good account of their faith by ACTION,.  They acted on their faith, in other words, and that was their testimony.  Abraham and Joseph come to mind immediately.

Things hoped for is a critical statement as well.  Obviously the main point is life after death, as without that, there is nothing.  So this verse is teaching us that we can NOT see life after death, yet we hope for it anyway.,  Yet, it is deeper than that.  We HOPE, and that will change our testimony, as it did our forefathers.  Hope is powerful, and HOPE is backed by faith.  This is a universal principle that is back by the Lord Jesus Christ and the power of the word of God.  HOPE changes your behavior. The cool thing is, that this verse is NOT only talking about hope in salvation, which by itself is enough, but it is talking about your relationship with the Lord Jesus.  He is your HOPE, and if you are tight with him, your faith is that God will make it happen the right way, because you have been called, and you have answered. Everything in your life is now covered by HOPE and thus faith in God. Romans 8:28 (NKJV)- "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose"

This is NOT what you are teaching them for this verse.  What you are teaching them is the nature of Faith, and it's relation to HOPE.  The background is so you will know when they ask the difficult questions, which they will if today is the day they begin to answer the call.  That is our Hope.

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Faith Drill 1 - Teaching Faith (trust) - The Mine Field.  Scatter paper or objects around a large floor making it impossible to pass from one side of the room to the other without walking on one (the mine) if they walk in a straight line. Get partners, and blindfold one, and have the other guide their partner through how ever they like. (Lead them to holding each others arm rather than voice, but let them make mistakes before you suggest - this has the added benefit of teaching Doing something rather than just talking.).


Have them change positions, as in who is blindfolded, and repeat. You can have several teams going through at once. 

HAVE SOMEONE MAKING BLOWING UP SOUNDS EVERY TIME SOMEONE STEPS ON A MINE.

Ask Questions:  Ask them who made it through the mine field?  Ask them what it took to make it through it safely? (Looking for trust or a good leader - since that teaches us if we have a good leader (God) we can trust.)  Ask them who they would like to follow in their lives? Ask them if they want people following them. Ask them if they expected to make it through?  Ask them if Hope in doing it right made a difference in their faith?  Ask them if it was easy to do if they would have NO FAITH OR HOPE?

Teaching the Bible Verse:  Before you read the verse, tell them that the Trust and Leadership that they have just experienced in the Mine Field is the topic for today's bible verse.  Read them Hebrews 11:1-2. 

Read it again, with some emotion. Have someone read one line with emotion, and you read the other.  Have groups of people read it with emotion. (This is JUST to familiarize them with the verse, so don't get bent out of shape if they accent the wrong thing .. make it fun and funny.)

ASK THEM WHAT IT MEANS.  You already showed them what trust and faith feels like.  Get them to tell you that this verse is about trusting God, and hope that he will guide them through their life.  (If someone makes the connection to Salvation, please explore that path; if not, mention it at the end of this section.

REVIEW for the them that Faith builds Hope, and that Hope changes behavior, and their life and relationship with Jesus and each other will be better if they supply Hope and behavior that is worthy of Trust and Faith, as our forefathers like Abraham did.

FINAL DRILL - Faith Drill 2: The Gauntlet - have all but 1 or 2 kids make two lines facing each other, far enough apart that a student can walk down between the lines without touching anyone.  Have the students put one arm out across the path, so when you are at one end looking down, there is a line of arms crossing your path.  Now have a student you held out walk down the path, and the students in line raise their arms just before he gets there, and put them back down as he passes.  A spectacular trust drill.   They will fail for some time, as there will be little HOPE. You must foster hope by controlling the speed and attitude until they learn the skill.

For Added fun, blind fold some of the older kids.
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FINAL REVIEW: Tell them that they should live their lives just like the gauntlet drill. That Hebrews 11: 1-2 teaches us that our forefathers impressed God by their faith in action, and now it is their turn. Walk through their difficulties KNOWING that GOD has their back and front. Live a life of Hope based on Faith.

Peace:

Anne & Paul

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Look for the Lost Sheep - Easy Sunday School #3 - Luke 19:10

Credit: Free images from acobox.com
1) Experience the Lesson:

WHERE IS MY MONEY -  You need 1 student who is active, fast, and who has indomitable spirit.

Show the student a 50 cent coin, or a dollar bill, or something that will excite him enough to hunt for it.

Have him turned around and “blinded” so he can not see you hide it among the other students.

Turn him around, and tell him if he finds it in 60 seconds he can keep it or he can have candy or KOTK coins. (Feel free to make him dizzy or as confused as you can manage - fun is the Point right now.)

If he does not find the coin, give him another chance, and this time hide it with some noise and in an easier place. Don’t make it too obvious. Challenge is necessary for the lesson, but so is success.


2. Explanation of the Drill: Ask him what he felt like when he was looking for the coin. (Lead him to the conclusion that it was important to him, and he left no stone unturned, so to speak.) Explain to the class that this desire to find the lost coin, and the energy that was spent looking for it is similar to what today’s message is about.

3) Verse of the Day:  (Teaching familiarity with the words) Read the verse then read it by sections and have them repeat it after you. Luke 19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."  Explain that Jesus wants to find us, just like you wanted to find the money, and will never give up on them.

Then see how fast they can say it. Divide the class into 4 teams, and have them each team say it as fast as the can, rotating from Team 1, 2, 3 and four, around the teams 4 times, so each team has said it 4 times.

Then time them to see which team says it the fastest.  Reward each team, more to the fastest team.

Crab Walking
4) Crab Walk Hunt: – Pick at least 2 teams of four students for this drill. Take the 4 pieced of the verse, above, and cast them at random around the room, even in with the other students. Have the first team all in the crab or reverse crab position. When you say go, the go and find the lost pieces of paper, and bring them up to an appointed place in the front, no mater how odd it makes them look. The can not use their hands to grab the paper.



5) The Word in Action: Read the entire class the story, Luke 19:1-10. Take your time, explain anything that is difficult. Let them know you will be asking questions and reward correct answers about the story and its meaning.

After you have read the story, ask questions about the story of the day giving rewards to those who answer the questions correctly. Please make the questions simple one, building confidence.  If you have children who know more, they will gladly let you know that, without you having to single them out by asking really adult level questions.  Go with your heart tuned to Jesus and aimed at the children.  Remember, it is NOT about you.  It is about THEM and Jesus.



5) The Word in Acting: Three Headed Preacher: (if you have extra time)

Pre-select 3 students to take this role. They stand together with their arms on each others shoulders, and have to tell the story, each in turn, saying ONLY ONE WORD AT A TIME. If they are good, you can have them sing it.

Be prepared to laugh.  This is an intellectual exercise as well as a bible study drill.  I normally have myself and adult or teen leaders do one with me, so they get the idea first.

Peace

Anne & Paul

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blind Faith Lesson Plan #2 "The Empty Tomb"

John 20:29 -  Then Jesus told him, "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven't seen me and believe anyway."

(Before you read this Lesson Plan, the Basics for Easy Sunday School - Lesson 1 - Should be read!)

Blind Faith Drill

Blind Mice
This drill requires 6 people: 1 leader, 5 blind followers. Set the leader in a chair from which he can not move, the 5 blind followers on the other side of the room, with an adult leader touching them so they do not feel isolated. Once they are blind folded, place 5 chairs near the leader, and have each of the 5 parts of the verse on the chairs. The leader has to lead with his voice the blind students to their chair, have them pick up the verse, hold it right side up, and so he can read it, and read it out loud, in the correct order. Make sure the verse is in the correct order on the chairs.

Have 2 teams and reward both teams if they achieve the goal of reading the verse. Make sure they succeed. Give the team that does the whole drill in the shortest time a bigger reward.
Encourage the other students to confuse the teams by reciting the verse out loud. You can assign leaders.

What Would it Take – Experiencing the Verse of the day.


For this story you need 1 student who will act as the victim of a heinous crime. You need 5 stickers to act as weapon entry marks. Any stickers will do, realism IS NOT NECESSARY. Place 4 on the chest, and one on the side of the “victim.”  Have the victim lay down behind you as if he was dead as you tell the story.

You need 1 or 2 students to play the roll of the witnesses of his getting up in the hospital. You need someone to act as the doctor, the police officer and the ambulance driver. You need a few students to act as the 200 who saw him die, and you need a robber, played by the teacher.
As you read the story, have the students act it out.


 What Would it Take for you to Believe this Story.
Once upon a time a man was robbed and stabbed 5 times, and he died in the middle of the street. This person here is representing this man. 200 people saw him die, and the police and ambulance driver all confirmed he had died.

They took him away, and while he was in the hospital, a doctor examined him. The doctor confirmed he was indeed dead. The doctor left the room and the man suddenly sat up. Looked around, took off the sheet, and walked out of the hallway they had left him in on the stretcher.
50 People saw him, talked to him, before he left the hospital, and he has never been seen since.

If this were a true story, and this, point to the student playing the role of the man in this story, is the man in the story, what would it take you to believe this happened.

(Ask the students: Lead them in the direction of the obvious questions, like: 1) I would like to hear what the doctors said, if he was really dead. 2) I would like to talk to the police to see if it really happened, 3) I would talk to the crowd to see what they saw, 4) I would like to see the wound on the man,  5) I would like to talk to those who saw him walk away. ETC.  Have them ask the witnesses.

Purpose: You are leading to the passion of Christ and his resurrection. You are having them experience the type of questions that were asked and answered in the Bible about the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The Tomb is Empty and he has Risen

Divide the Class into 2 to 5 teams, and let them know that Candy or other rewards are on the line for listening skills. There will be a test, contest in fact, at the end of the story. 

They need to be able to answer questions like, Who saw Jesus die? Who testified to his resurrection at the empty tomb?, Angles, Women, disciples and Peter, Who talked to the living Jesus after he rose from the dead? Jesus’s followers, on the road and back in Jerusalem; What do the other Gospels tell us about who saw and touched Jesus after he rose from the dead?  Ask them the questions above plus whatever you think they should know.  REMEMBER, YOU ARE NOT TEACHING THEM HOW MUCH YOU KNOW.  YOU ARE TRYING TO GET THEM TO KNOW.  SO WHEN YOU READ, EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANT PARTS.  EVEN ASK THEM RIGHT AFTER YOU READ A PART THEY SHOULD REMEMBER, TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU JUST SAID.  REWARD DIFFERENT CHILDREN FOR ANSWERING.


Read them Luke 23 - The Death of Jesus


Read them Luke 24 - The Resurrection of Jesus

Now ask the questions above.  make a big deal about getting them right.  Reward the effort.

Now is the time to explain the significance of the risen Lord, how only someone who hated the Lord could deny what has happened, and then ask if they would like to be certain they could go to heaven?

Follow you heart.

Song –QUITE – ask them to come to the alter and beg them to ask for a team member to pray with them if they want to accept Jesus NOW or if they want to come closer to him NOW.


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This is the verse you should print up and cut up for the chairs.  The different colors are the different parts.

John 20:29
Then Jesus told him, "You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven't seen me and believe anyway."

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Making Sunday School Easy for You - E (3)


E Cubed - The most basic of teaching rules for any age. The curriculum is not the most important, as you must learn to trust the Spirit to guide you anyway.  

First E = Empower.  You must, by the end of their class, give them something that will empower them in their lives.  By that I mean a basic understanding of the biblical principle behind whatever verse, story or collection of biblical selections you are supposed to teach through a REAL LIFE EXERCISE.  TELLING THEM IS NOT ENOUGH.  This must be from their Point of View before it is from your point of view. (see Example at the end)

Second E = Educate. You must also get them to see what they did to be empowered is squarely within the scriptures.  You must relate what they learned physically to the Bible or to the Spirit of God.  Without this, you are just teaching morals.  The Bible must be tied into and used to support, justify and explain what they did physically.

Third E = Entertain.  Really.  If it is not fun, then the only reason they will come back is because they are forced to.  You might be ok with that, but think about this for a moment.  If they WANT to come back, then at 7 am they are jumping on their parents bed making sure their parents are coming to church.  Early no less.  They will bring their friends.  You support not only the church's health in general, but you get to teach the Good News directly to an always growing number of children.  Entertain them!!

Example: Ephesians 6:1-3(NKJV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

Think about this for a moment.  When I first started teaching Sunday school as an assistant, the message for this was really simple.  Do what you are told by your parents.  Why?  Because GOD said so, and you do not want him upset at you, but you also get a reward. You get to live a long time.  (The implied result of NOT obeying is NOT living a long time on the earth.  In other words, do what you are told or you will DIE.)

They were forced to memorize the verse.  They were then forced to WATCH a puppet show that was amusing and instructive, but by this time they had been sitting in chairs for 45 minutes.  The sang some songs and then they went home.

Credit: Free photos from acobox.com
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.   What kid would enjoy that?  

Mom: "Johnny, what did you do today in Sunday School?"  
Johnny (Fidgeting): "Nothing."
Mom: "JOHNNY, WHY DIDN'T YOU PAY ATTENTION?"
Johnny (Frozen in place) "We watched a puppet show about doing what we are told and we sang."
Mom: "That's better."

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

This is an example of the three E's.

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Entertain them

1) At the start of class, divide the class up into 2 groups: boys/girls, old/young, tall/short, random counting.  It does not matter, though they respond well to boys/girls and it removes any touchy feely issues.  
   
Then have them each get a chair, with their groups, and sit in them facing you.  Stand is some strange place that they are not used to.  If a drill starts differently in some way, you have already attracted their attention. (Most adults have done this drill, but they are kids, and if you crank them up first with some music, and get them yelling and excited, you will get the few who have seen it forget what is going on.)  

Then you read them this list of things to do.  

"For this game you just have to remember to listen to all the instructions before you do anything."

Read the first line quickly, with NO special attention what so ever.  Then tell them them a story about what happens if you don't obey.  One of the teachers I teach with taught me the trick of using the Gross Fact of the Day here, so they have a good chance of forgetting the first line you read them.  Then tell them that who ever does all 10 things first and correctly wins (have some prize ... cookies, pop-tarts, something that is inexpensive but they want)  Crank them up on the prize ...  

Then you read the 10 items on the list.  (Feel free to change the items. Make them fun)

1. Stand on your chair.  (Give them time to do it.  Remind them that the first done wins.  Congratulate the one who is first, or tallest, or not moving ... just someone on the chair.)

2. Put you Thumbs in your ears, open up your hands, and wave your hands back and forth saying, "I'm a Moose, I'm a Moose."  Show them how, and Make it funny. 

3. Dance slowly on the chair.  (Show them how so they will laugh at you.)

4. Jump off the chair.

5. Sit on the floor.

6. Moo like a cow (do it so they understand and laugh)

7. Sit on the chair backwards and rest you head on the back of the chair.

8. Snore LOUDLY.

9. Fall out of the Chair.

10.  Don't do the first 9 things.  Just stay in the chair and wave at Me.

You might have to explain what they did wrong. (You asked them to listen to all the rules before doing anything.  If they say, "that's not fair," remind them that LIFE is NOT fair, and that they need to listen and pay attention.  If someone did it right give them the reward.  Since they had to be first, whoever waved first and did NOT DO 1 - 9, wins.  Make a big deal about the reward.
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Empower them

2) ASK them where else in their lives that there is a reward for doing what they are told, listening, and acting the right way.  Lead them to answers like School, Home, Sunday School, Sports ...  Lead them is NOT tell them.  Only tell them if you can not get the correct answers.  If you get a biblical answer, thank them, and tell them you will get back to that.  Move on.  Make this about what they already know.  Fix their attention on what they just did physically.

Ask them what type of rewards they get, like if you won this game?  Happy parents, good grades, win the game, happy you .....

Ask them where they have missed this in their lives and what happens when they do not listen and do what they are told to do?  Be prepared to lead them and also be prepared for weirdness.  DO NOT LET THIS LEAD YOU TO POLITICAL DISCUSSIONS ABOUT CRIME AND PUNISHMENT.  You are trying to empower them in their own lives, not scare them.  In addition, you are preparing them for the Word of God, and as followers of Christ, we all know that is about Love.  If you are saved, Hell is not on option.
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Educate them

3) Have them find the verse in the Bible.  Be aware that they might not have a bible.  It might not be your sacred version. They may not have been taught how to find chapters and books.  They may not even know the difference between New and Old Testaments.  They may not know how to read.  We are teachers.  Make it happen.  Finding it is nearly as important as reading it.

Then READ IT. Ephesians 6:1-3(NKJV) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 

You can have one of them read it after you, especially if they have a different translation than you, but you must read it first.  You will put the inflection and meaning into the words.

Ask them to relate the verse to the game.

Ask them to relate the verse to their lives.

Ask them to relate the verse to God.  (Please remember that God is NOT telling them that he is going to KILL them for not obeying.  He is telling them that their life will be better and longer if they obey.  He loves them, so he is telling them how the world works.)

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If you have time, play the game again.  It helps them to remember what they have learned, and changes the answers to the questions that their parents are going to ask.

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Feel free to ask questions about any lesson you might like to teach.  We will attempt to give you our suggestions on how to use the three E's as quickly as we can.

Peace   Anne & Paul